In response to a letter from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) congratulating President-elected Donald Trump, one of the community’s top activists has strongly criticized the letter’s intent, saying that Latinos have a “leadership problem” and that national Latino organizations should not “bow down” to Trump.
“We have a leadership problem in our community and NALEO pledging to bow down to Donald Trump when all the candidate has done is pledge to harm our communities demonstrates it to us once again,” said Marisa Franco of Mijente. “Those who claim to represent and support our community need to be less interested in preserving their position and more interested in standing up to bigotry and hate that has been levied against immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women and Latinos. Now is a time to defend and protect against these attacks, not ask to be a participant in them.”
In a release from NALEO, executive director Arturo Vargas said the following: “The American people have spoken, and it is time for us to get to work to ensure the nation’s next President has the staff, resources and information needed to succeed in the White House. We stand ready to collaborate with President-elect Trump and his transition team to ensure that the many hard-working Latinos who want to put their skills and talents to work on behalf of the nation are able to do so in the next Administration. While we may not agree on every policy position or proposal over the next four years, we know there are areas of common ground that can be forged with the President-elect that will allow us to work together to move the Latino community and nation forward.”
The NALEO letter comes days after the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 40 Latino organizations, issued their own statement about Trump. Here is the statement’s opening paragraph:
“The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 40 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, calls on President-elect Donald Trump to unequivocally break from the hateful rhetoric he used during his campaign if he is sincere in wanting to be the president for the entire nation. Following the record Latino voter turnout in Tuesday’s election, NHLA will request a meeting with the president-elect to seek clarity on his intentions and to urge him to address the Latino community’s policy priorities, which were sent to his campaign earlier this year.”